Those present at the meeting of Harrow council’s planning committee on May 27 were treated to a fine lesson in confused and inexplicable decision-making.

On an application for Sudbury Hill, which would see five detached houses demolished and 68 flats built in their place, Labour’s Councillor Barry Kendler rightly asked questions about the impact such an intensive development would have on traffic.

He pointed out how dangerous it would be at such a busy intersection, and commented on the difficulties that would arise regarding the right turns in and out of the development. Later on, Cllr June Baxter, (Con/Harrow on the Hill), proposed the development be refused for valid reasons, and this is when things went wrong for Labour.

In spite of having spoken eloquently only moments earlier about the traffic problems, in spite of Brent council having lodged an objection to it, and in spite of a concerned local resident who had ably spoken against it, Cllr Kendler and the rest of the Labour members voted to pass the application.

How can anyone be so contradictory that they would vote for a proposal about which, literally only moments earlier, they had expressed such grave reservations?

Labour asked for their concerns ‘to be minuted’ but what good is that when things almost inevitably go wrong?

If traffic chaos results once these flats are built, by then it will be too late to do much about it.

Having previously served on the Committee for 12 years and having chaired it for four, I know how these meetings should work.

The planning committees is there to scrutinise the officers’ recommendations which, in this case, were sadly wrong.

If councillors have substantive concerns about proposals, they should reject them.

That’s what Labour should have done, and it’s local residents and road users who will suffer because they didn’t.

Cllr Marilyn Ashton

Conservative/ Stanmore Park ward

Harrow council